A top Turkish conglomerate says it is negotiating the sale of the country's largest media holding to a tycoon close to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, raising concern that the move will further cement the government's control over the press.
Dogan Holding said in a March 22 statement that talks had begun on the sale of Dogan Media Group to magnate Erdogan Demiroren's Demiroren Group for about $1 billion.
Some of Turkey's most prominent media outlets are part of Dogan Media Group, including the daily newspaper Hurriyet, the sports daily Fanatik, the CNN-Turk rolling news service, and the television channel Kanal-D.
CNN-Turk and Hurriyet, while in no way antigovernment, had been regarded as enjoying a relatively independent editorial line in recent years. Demiroren Holding is seen as more friendly to Erdogan.
Meanwhile, the Turkish parliament late on March 21 passed legislation placing all online streaming platforms, including news outlets, under the monitoring of the country's broadcasting regulator.
The law, drafted by Erdogan's ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), will require companies to obtain a license from the regulator before streaming online.
The opposition slammed the move as censorship.
Dozens of journalists have been jailed since a failed July 2016 coup aimed at toppling Erdogan.